July 12, 2023
Rivers Casino plans to open a boutique hotel by the end of this year inside the former PECO power plant on the Delaware River waterfront. Developers are in the process of converting the site into a mixed-use campus known as The Battery.
The casino's new Riversuites hotel will include 62 rooms on four floors of the former Delaware River Generating Station, which opened on Beech Street in 1921 and once provided power to nearly half of Philadelphia. The 11-acre site sits next to Penn Treaty Park and is accessible from Rivers Casino via the Delaware Riverwalk.
"A hotel addition for Rivers Casino Philadelphia has always been part of the master plan for our Fishtown property," said Tim Drehkoff, CEO of Rivers Casino and Rush Street Gaming. "The location and grandeur of The Battery allowed us to join a neighboring parcel, already in progress, with historic Philly significance."
Guest suites at the Riversuites will average about 854 square feet, with larger accommodations available up to 2,266 square feet. The suites will have full kitchens, and the apartment-style rooms will feature a mix of patios and bi-level lofts. One-, two- and three-bedroom units will be available.
The hotel also will have co-working spaces, lobby gathering spaces, a pool table and an indoor basketball court. The casino said the hotel is a $7 million, privately-funded project that fits into the larger redevelopment of the 500,000-square-foot site.
The PECO facility was decommissioned in 2008, after having operated as a power plant into the 1970s. The property, with its eight smokestacks and riverfront views, began to attract interest from developers as an ideal site for adaptive reuse.
In 2015, the building was purchased by Tower Investments CEO Bart Blatstein and Cescaphe Event Group's Joe Volpe, who originally planned to convert it into an event space with restaurants, a banquet hall and a hotel. The building received national and local historic designation the following year.
The property was sold again in 2020 to Lubert-Adler, which reimagined the property's future as The Battery, a mixed-use campus with apartments, rentals, offices and event spaces.
"We saw in the old PECO power plant an opportunity to create a spectacular experience on Philadelphia's waterfront that could be a home for both a residential community as well as an eclectic mix of commercial enterprises that will draw people to an area of the city that has until now been underused," said Leonard Klehr, vice chairman of Lubert-Adler. "It is very exciting to see our vision for this project come to fruition, with our first residents moving in and Rivers Casino announcing its plans for a beautiful new hotel overlooking the river, and we are thrilled to welcome them to The Battery."
The Battery will have 171 residential units, including 45 that will be leased as furnished rentals, and 135,000 square feet of office space. The lobby will have a coffee shop. Cescaphe, which is still attached to the project, will have a 75,000-square-foot event space. And Pier 61, originally the power station's coal pier, will be transformed into a public gathering space.
The leasing office for The Battery opened in May.
Rivers Casino, formerly SugarHouse Casino, opened in 2010 on a 22-acre waterfront property at 1001 N. Delaware Ave. The walk to The Battery, at 1325 N. Beech St., is five minutes using the Delaware Riverwalk. The casino will run a complimentary 24/7 shuttle to the hotel and will have valet parking for those who drive.
"VIPs and out-of-town guests have long inquired about overnight stays at Rivers Casino Philadelphia, and they're about to get a penthouse-style option," casino General Manager Eric Althaus said.